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Established in 1995, McNeilage Conservation is a partnership based in Devon, and undertaking work in all parts of England and Wales. We specialise in two separate but related fields–

  • the conservation of wall and panel paintings
  • the conservation of church monuments and statuary & the repair of decorative/carved stone and plasterwork.

This dual specialism allows us to provide expertise and advice on a wide range of issues, such as the treatment of surviving polychrome on church monuments and structural problems affecting wall paintings.

Our clients include:

Cathedrals and parish churches
English Heritage
The National Trust
The Landmark Trust
The Churches Conservation Trust
Private individuals

Both partners are ICON accredited conservators.

The partners have also worked extensively abroad, both in education and on practical projects, in Italy, Sicily, Romania, Canada, Belgium, Finland and Israel.

Conservation brings together the expertise of two conservators, each with thirty years’ experience of work on historic fabric. Both partners began with academic studies, followed by specific practical training, and this background permits a comprehensive approach to the issues and problems faced in the conservation of cultural property.

Both partners are actively involved in the conservation community, regularly attending conferences as well as contributing lectures and papers. Torquil McNeilage has been a member of the SPAB Technical Panel for fifteen years and an active member of the Church Monuments Society. Both have sat on ICON committees; Ruth is a current member of the Stone and Wall paintings committee.

Following a degree in History, Ruth McNeilage undertook a postgraduate diploma in Architectural Conservation and worked for eight years as conservator at Herbert Read Ltd, followed by study at ICCROM in Rome. Ruth then worked as part of the MPC team at ICCROM for two years, before returning to the UK to set up in independent practice.

After his degree in English Medieval Studies, Torquil McNeilage took the Architectural Conservation Diploma at Weymouth College and further studies at ICCROM in Venice. In 1992, he was a SPAB William Morris Craft Fellow. He worked for eight years for other established conservators, before setting up McNeilage Conservation.

Working on the principle of minimum intervention, we provide condition assessments, diagnosis and materials analysis, as well as fully documented conservation interventions.

We work with small teams of experienced conservators who are well known to us and expected to maintain and develop their professional knowledge. It is a principle of the company that one partner is always on site and in control of day to day decision making. We also collaborate regularly with specialists in other fields, drawing on their expertise to ensure a comprehensive approach to the work.

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